Delaware Park schedule set; racing commission discusses model rules

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Jan. 17, 2018

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission Jan. 17 approved the 2018 racing schedule for Delaware Park and also discussed the status of model rules approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International in December.

By contract with the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Delaware Park will offer 81 days of racing. The meet will run from Wednesday, May 30, through Saturday, Oct. 20.

As has been the case in previous years, the track will race four days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For the final week, racing will be held Wednesday and Saturday.

The grade III Delaware Oaks is set for July 7 and the grade II Delaware Handicap for July 14. Both dates are Saturdays.

As for the new model rules, DTRC Chairman Duncan Patterson said the commission needs more time to review them and will address them at its February meeting. For the most part, the DTRC already follows suggested procedures.

After the meeting, Patterson said the commission supports a proposed interstate compact on medication rules and drug-testing standards, as does the state Department of Agriculture. The legislation, which would facilitate adoption of model rules and testing parameters in member states, would be introduced in the Delaware legislature by the Department of Agriculture, which oversees racing in the state.

In other business, DTHA Executive Director Bessie Gruwell said the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program, which offers purse bonuses for registered horses, in 2017 received 237 applications, up 12 from the previous year. The program, funded each year with $1 million from Delaware Park and the DTHA, paid out $782,000 last year, Gruwell said, and this year has a balance of $1.47 million.

In 2018 the bonuses for owners and certifiers will be paid down to fifth-place rather than third-place, and all four DCTP stakes on Owners Day in September will be worth $100,000; last year the two stakes for 3-year-olds and up were worth $100,000, while the two stakes for 2-year-olds were worth $75,000.

(Delaware Park photo by Tom LaMarra)